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Freddy Krueger - Nightmare on Elm Street Remake

Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA


I tend to be a purist when it comes to my horror movies. I don't mind when a director or writer goes back to an original book or story to film a new take on it, like Carpenter did with The Thing, or Coppola did with Dracula, but I'm not too keen on straight remakes. They're not automatically terrible, but the deck is stacked against them from the start.

With the awful Halloween remake fresh on on the palette, it was with less than great enthusiasm that I greeted the news of a Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Here's a classic that needs no updating, no revamping, no 'improvement' - leave well enough alone. And so I assumed that I'd pass entirely, without nary a viewing in my lifetime.

Ah, but then they announced the casting, and put Jackie Earle Haley in the role of Freddy. And let's be honest - it's the only casting that matters here. Haley can play psycho like nobody else in film today. His portrayal of Rorscach in the Watchmen was the high point of the movie, and his character on FOX's Human Target is both funny AND volatile. He has an air about him, an attitude, that gives any character he portrays a dangerous edge.

Because of all that, I think the casting choice was brilliant. Haley is the only person that might be able to pull off Freddy, and while it might be blasphemous, he may even do it better than Englund. A film that was on my 'no need to see it in this lifetime' list has now moved to 'watch it on opening weekend', no small feat, and it's all due to Haley's casting.

NECA is producing figures based on the new film, and Freddy is done up both in his regular and toasty versions. I doubt anyone is going to be interested in the regular, unless they are looking to do some sort of Haley custom, but the crispy version should be popular and is the figure I'm looking at tonight. He's already in stores - I picked mine up at Toys R Us - and can be had for $13 - $16 at most places.
Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
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Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
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Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
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Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
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Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
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Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA
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Packaging - ***1/2
NECA has stuck with the clamshell packaging, and I've always been a fan. They're sturdy, store easily, and work great for the MOCers. As long as you can use a knife with enough dexterity to keep all your fingers intact, you should have no trouble opening it up. It's not collector friendly of course - you'll destroy it getting the figure free.

The graphics are decent, and there's a little background text. You can clearly see both head sculpts and the removable hat in the tray, which is always a plus.

Sculpting - ***1/2
There's a lot of technical quality here, especially in the small detail work on the burned face and woven sweater.

There's two head sculpts, one with a closed mouth and one with a slightly open, curled mouth. Both have lots of scarring and damage, with the underlying muscle showing through in some spots. The eyes are both tiny and slitted, making it tough to see the pupils. The open mouth version even has teeth, although seeing that in person requires eagle level eye sight.

Since I have not seen the actual movie, I can't be sure that these portraits are accurate, so I'm going to have to give NECA the benefit of the doubt. But even if it does...I'm not totally sold on this look. It's different than the original, but I'm not sure it's better.

The right hand looks great though, with the long knife claws and brass fittings cleanly sculpted. The blades are posed in a particular way though, and are not articulated.

The sweater has sculpted woven fabric texture, with some additional tears and burns that look extremely realistic.

He's a 7" scale figure, although he's a bit thinner than some other figures in this scale. That make sense though, considering Haley's physical size. Height-wise though, he'll fit in fine with your other 7" scale monsters.

He also stands great on his own, although at times I thought I was shooting an Abercrombie and Fitch model. The leg pose, with the weight shifted slightly back and to one leg, isn't particularly aggressive in appearance.

Paint - ***
The paint work is clean, and the colors of the sweater damage and wear are very realistic. The blood on the blades looks good, and the brass fittings have a nice metallic finish.

I'm not sure I'm sold on the burnt skin, however. The coloration reminds me too much of a skin mask, similar to Leatherface, and less of a burn victim. That's not to say I'm right - it's just that I prefer the old school appearance here as well.

I think the deep-set eyes also add to that feeling of a mask, rather than actual skin. There's no wash either, which means the paint job doesn't bring out the finely detailed sculpt as well as it could.

Articulation - ***
The figure has more articulation than is apparent through the bubble, but he's still not going to be doing any wild fighting stances.

The neck is an extremely good ball joint, both sturdy and with a wide range of movement. Both heads tilt side to side and front to back on the post.

The wrists operate as cut joints (turn), but the elbows are pin and post style joints that allow the arms to move inward and outward, which is a step up from the usual cut joint we see on figures of this style. The shoulders are the traditional NECA style that does allow a little more movement than a cut joint, but not as much as a traditional ball.

The waist is also a ball joint, allowing the torso to tilt in most directions. He can also turn slightly, but the sweater interferes with too much movement in that direction.

There's no leg articulation, but the ankles are jointed, allowing the feet to turn slightly inward and outward. This will allow you to get him in just the right pose to keep the center of gravity lined up properly.

Accessories - ***
There's only two accessories here - the removable hat and the swappable head.

The hat works great, and is made from a soft rubber that fits tightly on the head. It also proves that you can do an in scale hat that is removable, something that most companies fail at. I doubt too many people would display him without the hat, but the option is nice to have.

I've already really discussed both heads in the sculpt and paint sections, but I will point out here that they are easy to swap, with a very sturdy ball joint at the neck.

Fun Factor - ***
With better articulation than you'd expect, this Freddy is actually a pretty good toy. The package says 7 and up, although I'd think any 7 year old who's in to Freddy might bear watching.

Value - **1/2
You'll probably pay around $15 for this guy, and I still have a hard time handling this price point for what is a pretty basic figure. Sadly, this seems to be the current norm.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
There's nothing inherently wrong with this figure, but I'm just not quite feeling it the way I should. Maybe it's the new design for Freddy which is leaving me flat, or maybe it's the open mouth head sculpt that's losing me. Either way, while it's good there was nothing here that pushed me over to great.

It's possible that once I see the movie, that I'll love this figure a bit more - or I may never want to hear anything about this movie again. With no reviews up at Rotten Tomatoes yet (I'm writing this as of Thursday night, the 28th), it might be a lot to hope that this remake manages to avoid the usual failure.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Urban Collector has this single Freddy in stock for $13, or you can buy him with his non-burned counterpart as a set for $27.

- Big Bad Toy Store has him at $15.

- Things From Another World has him for $16.

- if you and your friends are looking to go in together, Entertainment Earth has a case for $113. That's 8 figures for $14 each.

- Forbidden Planet has them for 11 GBP each.

Related Links -
Other Freddy reviews include - 

- there's the Dream Master Freddy, one of my favorites in this scale.

- - Mezco did Freddy in series 2 of COF as well.

- also in the 7" scale, there's the Robert Englund version as well, and the Freddy vs Jason version.

- There's the 12" Robert Englund version, as well as the New Nightmare version, and the Freddy vs Jason version.  Oh, and don't forget the very first Sideshow version as well.

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Freddy Krueger Nightmare on Elm Street remake action figure by NECA


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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